Bralette VS Sports Bra – Style & Comfort

what is the difference between a bralette and a sports bra

Every type of lingerie is worn for a particular purpose and the same rule is also applicable to bras. Once you venture into the world of lingerie, you will comprehend the benefit of its sheer variety. Bras have evolved drastically since their first launch and now you can get a different set of bras for the occasion be it casual wear or activewear. Today we are going to discuss two popular members of this lingerie world, namely bralettes and sports bras to help alleviate all confusions you might be having regarding their similarities and differences.

Difference Between Bralette and Sports Bra

Points of Difference Bralette Sports Bra
Definition A bralette is a combination of a crop top and sports bra that features a wire-free design sans any molded cups. The USP of a bralette lies in its flaunting neckline and lacey straps making it the perfect choice for ladies with an eye for fashion. Just as the name suggests, a sports bra is meant to be worn during different types of workouts while wicking away sweat. The sturdier design of sports bras offers greater support and prevents the breast from bouncing. Apart from evading workout discomfort, it also helps prevent long-term sagging.
Padding Come with either no or removable padding allowing you to choose how to wear it. Heavily padded to render adequate support to your breasts while holding them in place as you undertake vigorous activities.
Comfort Can mimic a bra-less feeling making the bralettes perfect for being worn at home sans the digging-in or constricting feeling. A sports bra serves as a heaven-sent gift to protect your breast from soreness caused by demanding activities. They help minimize breast movement by keeping them firmly in place so that you feel more comfortable while exercising without becoming too self-conscious about your breasts.
Fabric The bralettes are made using special fabrics which hug your breasts conveniently. Sports bras are made using fabrics having moisture-wicking properties so that gym goers don’t feel irritated due to sweat.
Worn with Casually under a denim shirt, a leather jacket, or worn as a crop top. The pretty knits, sexy mesh cutouts, and cute lace straps are meant to be seen. Bralettes are excellent for layering underneath a blazer or a jacket to deliver a confident bossy lady feel. Either underneath your workout wear or on its own.
Perfect for Occasions when you wish to ditch the regular bra with something that is both cute and comfortable to wear. You can also wear it while undertaking light activities like yoga which doesn’t cause much movement in the breasts. Worn while working out or engaging in sports like boxing or horseback riding.
Can be worn during Summer months as the bralettes can have your back from the steaming heat and humidity. Its non-restrictive design can help you stay cool during summer. The bralettes can also be worn during casual occasions for a chic look on being paired with tanks or tops and skirts or pants. You can readily wear a lace bralette underneath a chunky cardigan or wear a racerback bralette with a backless dress to flaunt your exposed back. Workout sessions
Styles Bralettes are characterized by cute lace straps, sexy mesh cutouts, pretty knits, and vivid hues. Come in various styles like racerback, sexy strappy back bras, criss-cross, high neck, tank top, push-up, seamless, and front-zip sports bras to add to your fashion curve during a workout.
  • Underwire bralette
  • Plunge bralette
  • Cage bralette
  • Plus size bralette
  • Padded bralette
  • Longline bralette
  • Seamless bralette
  •  Sheer bralettes
  • Sports bralette
  • Strappy bralette
Sports bras can be segregated according to the level of support provided:

  • Low-impact sports bras for being worn to activities like street cycling, running, and light yoga.
  • Medium impact sports bra comes with removable pads for being worn while doing exercises like light jogging or aerobic yoga and basking in a relaxing experience.
  • High-impact sports bras for strenuous exercises requiring too much movement. They provide the perfect blend of coverage and encapsulation of breasts during physically strenuous exercises.
Coverage More coverage which is why celebrities wear the bralettes for loungewear or as casual fashion. Comparatively less coverage than bralettes.
Compression Bralettes don’t compress your breasts. You can get sports bras that compress breasts and minimize movements. Usually, they don’t feature individual cups which can separate the breasts and are perfect for small-breasted ladies who don’t wish to be bothered by the appearance of a uni-boob.
Encapsulation Bralettes don’t feature an encapsulation design. Encapsulated sports bras help preserve your natural boob shape while undertaking low to medium-impact exercises. These feature individual cups resembling each breast. Since each breast is separated from the other, it helps prevent pain and sagging while protecting the ligaments. The encapsulation bras are perfect for ladies with bigger bust sizes.
Post breast surgery Can be worn post-surgery but sports bras render better results. You can wear sports bras after breast surgery as they are mostly unwired and can help reduce pain and irritation while propelling a quick recovery. Surgeons recommend wearing a sports bra for up to two months after breast surgery or augmentation for speedy healing.
Functionalities More of a pretty and lightweight fashion accessory that can be worn either as outerwear or your regular bra. The bralettes can be either wired or unwired and strapped or strapless with some having wider bands at the bottom of the cup to deliver ample support for breastfeeding mothers or those suffering from breast sensitivities. Provides ample comfort, and reduces breast pain. It also maintains breast shape and prevents breast movement during exercise while absorbing sweat to keep you dry.


  • Can you wear bralettes as sports bras while working out?

You can choose any type of bra while exercising but an unsupportive and inappropriate bra will allow your breasts to move around causing soreness, irritation, and, breast pain. A bralette can serve you well if you are undertaking low-impact activities in the gym.

  • Can you wear a bralette daily?

Bralettes are perceived by both teens and women as a convenient and comfortable choice of everyday wear. The less constricting attributes of bralettes are the reason why more and more women are switching to bralettes. A non-wired and lightweight design also makes them well-suited for being worn at bedtime. However, bralettes are unstructured and can be troublesome for those having bigger busts.

  • Can you wear a sports bra daily?

Despite offering world-class support and comfort to your breasts, medium and high-impact sports bras aren’t ideal for everyday use. They tend to compress and hold your breasts to prevent any movement. This is why sports bras can cause discomfort after being worn for a few hours.

  • Can you prevent your breasts from sagging while wearing a sports bra while exercising?

Sagging is a natural process that is triggered by both gravity and aging. Thus, wearing a compression or encapsulation sports bra cannot prevent stretching breast skin and tissue or your breasts from bouncing. Yet, wearing a good-fitting sports bra can help you stay cozy while performing different exercises.

  • Can you sleep in a sports bra?

Sleeping in a sports bra feels more convenient and cozier than a regular underwired bra. Nonetheless, it is advisable to refrain from wearing one that isn’t too constrictive as it can hamper your proper blood circulation and also cause over-sweating.


Both sports bras and bralettes come in different styles and designs to help you make the selection depending on your theme and preference. You can also style them in varied ways whether under a tank top or a shirt for an everyday chic look. Currently, the fashion world is perceiving both sports bras and bralettes as revolutionary undergarments which can be sported publicly with panache. Both bralettes and sports bras can elevate your boring outfit. A sports bra can render adequate support during a workout while helping you look and feel confident. A bralette can help you ooze out the sexiness as you style it underneath a sheer top.

There was a time when women thought having a single bra could have their back with different outfits and occasions. We all have regretted not wearing outfits, for not having the right bra to pair with them. Did you know that sports bras and bralettes are like sisters and are essential in every woman’s life for providing ample support, enhancing their bust shape, and rendering stunning looks? If you are facing a dilemma regarding the differences between a bralette and a sports bra, then our today’s discussion is bound to answer all your queries.


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James Smith

Love to watch world-cinema and fashion runways, attended the national school of drama theatre designing and make-up workshop, worked closely in men, women, kidswear and theatre costumes designing, capable to pick the best fabrics for clients, he obtained a bachelor's degree in fashion designing, focused on runway stylization, costume consultant, garment construction.